If a tooth is damaged due decay, trauma or has an inherent defect, then this may be repaired using a filling. There are a variety of materials available to restore the integrity, function and aesthetics of the tooth.
It is important that if you need a filling, that it is done early to prevent further damage to the tooth and the loss of any more tooth structure and further weakening of the tooth, along with the possible risk to the nerve of the tooth.
In most cases you will be unaware if you need a filling unless there has been a trauma and you can detect and change in the shape of the tooth. Dental decay is normally painless until it reaches the nerve of the tooth or allows stimuli to reach the nerve. At this stage the filling will be close to the nerve and may result in the nerve dying off due to bacterial infiltration and infection after the filling.
Composite fillings are tooth coloured and are made from powdered glass quartz, silica or other ceramic particles added to a resin base. After the tooth is prepared, the filling is bonded onto the area and a light shone onto it to set it. The dentist will choose a shade to match your existing teeth, although over time staining can happen. Your dentist will advise you on what kind of filling material is suited to your situation. Discuss with your dentist if you would like a particular type of filling material such as tooth-coloured fillings. Always ask for a treatment plan and a written estimate before starting any treatment.
Amalgam fillings are silver coloured. Amalgam is long lasting and hardwearing and has been used in fillings for at least 150 years. It is economical to use and it is not unusual for an amalgam filling to last 15 to 20 years. This kind of filling is normally used on the back 'chewing' teeth. Before the filling can be placed, the area must be prepared by removing all the decay and shaping the cavity to hold the filling in place. Mercury in dental amalgam is not poisonous once it is combined with the other materials in the amalgam filling. Its chemical nature changes so that it is harmless. Research into the safety of dental amalgam has been carried out for over 100 years. So far, no reputable controlled studies have found a connection between amalgam fillings and any medical problem. For more information, please see our page on the safety of amalgam fillings,
If you have any queries please contact us at the Mullane Dental Practice, Newcastle West, Co. Limerick. Alternatively, if you would like to book an appointment/consultation with one of our dentists, please use our booking form below.